Carry over from Great Lakes Warriors thread...worst seas on the planet

Ok, this one deserves its own thread.

Any high latitudes are horrible for sea conditions but any thought that the Great Lakes would even be in the top 10 is laughable.

There are many waters of the globe I have not sailed especially the great Southern Ocean near the Horn so cannot speak from experience there yet believe it to be the worse weather and seas on the planet just based on the simple geography of the place and certainly is unbelievable reputation to destroy windjammers like no where else. Extreme seas usually require a certain combination of land shape, prevailing currents, depth, openess to fetch which Cape Horn as all in spades!

I know the WNA can be deadly but so can the Winter North Pacific and honestly I do not believe to be a great difference between the two. Just on the US West Coast can be miserable as can the Gulf of Alaska as the tanker mariners know. For me tho, the worse I have experienced in just north of the Aleutians when a 940mb low came screaming into the Bering Sea moving 25kts. What to me makes the high North Pacific so god awful terrible is how frequently the systems keep coming leaving no chance for the seas to lay down before the hell starts all over again.

btw, the real reason was that there is a seperate WNA loadline and not one for anywhere else was due to the prevalence of passenger traffic on the routes when Plimsol marks were established and not do to any particular unique sea conditions found there.

I’ll second the Aleutians and the Gulf of Alaska. I’d certainly much rather sail up and down the Atlantic Coast than the Pacific Coast.

Cape Horn pretty much sucks (just got back from there). On a motor/steam ship you can generally find a weather window where the seas are below 10 meters long enough to sneak around, or get down to Antarctica, even in the winter. The two months I was down there I kept thinking of the poor SOB’s trying to sail to windward in that crap in the 17th-20th centuries. Trying to take in sail in 70 knots and -30F with driving, freezing spray? I’d likely have just curled up somewhere below and waited to sink. The two worst pastings I ever got though were in the Adriatic in winter and passing through the eye wall of Hurricane Grace in 91 off Cape Hatteras.

Interesting article:"f

…All the water flowing west and east by
Antarctica suddenly finds that it has to squeeze through the narrow gap between South America and Antarctica. To
do so, it accelerates (moves faster) so that it all can get through, pushed by the water behind. This creates the fastest
of the major ocean currents in the world. There is also a tremendous amount of variability, as currents have to move
up and over shallow underwater plateaus, and the west and east wind drifts rub against one another, creating huge
eddies. Add to this the strong winds which create huge waves (over this very large fetch), and you have one of the
most dangerous bodies of water in the ocean. After Magellan (who led the first expedition to sail all the way around
the world) sailed out of these waters, he called the ocean that they arrived in the “Pacific,” because it was much
more peaceful than where they had been. Ironically, the Pacific Ocean is actually more violent that the Atlantic and
Indian Oceans."

+1 North Pacific